Is Depression Keeping You Down, Stuck And Sad?
Are you struggling with depression, feeling it’s your fault and you should be able to snap out of it? Do you long to function with more ease and enjoy your life? Do you sometimes feel you’ve always been and always will be depressed? Do you struggle to remember a time when you didn’t feel bad? Maybe you constantly feel sad and fatigued, as if you’re moving through thick mud, and you no longer want to engage in activities you once enjoyed. Or maybe you feel angry, irritable and highly reactive and then you feel ashamed for being so moody and about the sharp words said to people you love. It might be that a lack of energy, meaning and purpose in your life has made it increasingly difficult for you to care for yourself and your family, and you feel guilty, helpless and overwhelmed.
Maybe you’re concerned that your teenager is struggling with depression, especially if your child has started withdrawing, grades are dropping and he or she no longer seems interested in people, events and activities that once brought him or her joy. You may have noticed personality changes and wonder if it’s due to hormonal changes and normal teenage angst or if something really serious is going on. Are you increasingly worried, unsure what to do or how to help?
Living with depression can be a confusing, exhausting and a deeply isolating experience. It can be hard to make decisions, take action and focus on tasks at hand. Work and relationships may be suffering, especially if productivity has dropped and/or your loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through. Life can begin to feel pointless, and you may have turned to drugs or alcohol to numb out, feel something different or feel anything at all. While you want to feel better, more energized and alive, life may have lost its luster, and you wonder if relief is possible.
You Are Not Alone
Although depression is a lonely experience, you are far from alone. A recent study shows that major depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., with 10.3 million American adults experiencing a major depressive episode in 2016. Other research shows that 350,000,000 people are affected by depression globally and that 11 percent of American teenagers will develop a depressive disorder before the age of 18. Studies also show that while depression is so prevalent today, only 50 percent of people will seek treatment, often suffering silently without the support and resources needed to regain and maintain a higher quality of life.
Depression symptoms vary from person to person and can present as “the blues” on one side of the spectrum. On the other side of the spectrum, people with severe depression often feel immobilized and/or entertain suicidal thoughts. While some people are biologically prone to depression, others experience it following a loss, life transition or trauma.
Although people with depression rarely speak openly about it, which breeds feelings of shame, isolation and disconnection, the truth is that depression is very real and prevalent in today’s culture. It’s also true that you’re not alone and that there is help and hope. As a skilled and experienced therapist who specializes in treating depression, I can offer you and/or your teenager compassionate support, practical guidance and effective strategies. It is possible to come out of the fog of depression and experience increased connection and joy in your life.
Depression Counseling Can Help You Let Go Of Sadness And Cultivate Joy
In supportive depression therapy sessions, I can help you or your teenager uncover your strengths and bring your brilliance to the surface. Sessions are your safe space to express anything and everything as we explore current challenges, past hurts and get to the root cause of your depression. Often, depression stems from unresolved trauma or attachment issues that go back to childhood and are rooted in feeling unsupported and unworthy of getting needs met. Whether current, past and/or biological factors are contributing to the depression, you can learn—and really begin to believe—that your needs are valid and you are worthy of love, happiness and prosperity.
I recognize that everyone experiences depression and heals differently, which is why I take a client-driven, solution-focused and strength-based approach to treating depression. Together, we can develop a depression treatment strategy that best addresses, honors and supports your unique personality, values, needs and therapy goals. We can explore issues of self-worth, which everyone struggles with to a degree, but tends to really be an issue when living with depression. We can also explore your strengths and identify resources that you can draw from and build upon as you set meaningful goals and take realistic, actionable steps to meet them. You can also learn and practice self-care strategies and mindfulness techniques that can have a positive impact on brain chemistry and help you to feel more alive, present and joyful. And, if you are interested, we can also engage in LENS therapy, a neurofeedback system that can restore the brain to optimal performance and has been proven effective in providing sustainable and significant relief for depression.
I have been helping clients manage and overcome depression for more than 35 years, and I know how much healing, relief and joy can come from therapy. As we celebrate even the smallest of successes that move you toward your goals and improved well-being, you can begin to feel better about yourself and your life. Life does and will come with its stressors and challenges, and you may not feel happy 24/7, but it is possible to (re)discover joy and meaningful connection with yourself and others. You can experience increased energy and focus, feel more present and alive. You can cultivate the ability to love, be loved and embrace who you authentically are.
You may still have questions or concerns about counseling for depression…
Does a depression diagnosis mean that I’ll need to go on an antidepressant?
For some people, medication can be very helpful. It can mitigate depression symptoms and help regulate brain chemistry, which can help you engage in therapy and other important aspects of your life. Some studies show that medication in combination with counseling is the best treatment for depression. That said, aside from medication, there are many cognitive, somatic and holistic approaches we can take that are proven to treat depression and do not include medication. Essentially, my job is to offer you information, support and practical guidance, but the decision to take—or not take—medication is yours to make.
I tried therapy in the past, but didn’t experience any sustainable relief.
First, regardless of past experiences, it’s important that you don’t give up. There is a lighter and brighter way of being in the world. We all have a path to healing—you just need to discover yours. Also, when in depression therapy—or any therapy, really—it is very important to work with a therapist whom you trust, feel safe with, can easily relate to and feel you can be your whole, real self with. Finding the right fit is the cornerstone of successful healing, which is why I offer a free 30-minute initial session in my office or by phone.
I have been struggling with depression for years. I’m not sure that anything—even working with a depression therapist—could help me at this point.
Just that you’re reading this indicates to me that that you have a desire to feel better and that at least some part of you knows that you can. I believe that there is a path to healing for everyone. Together, we can uncover what it is that you need to resolve, feel and tap into to experience the fulfillment, joy and peace that you deserve.
Life Can Be Lighter, Brighter and More Joyful
If you or your teenager is struggling with depression in Boulder, CO or the surrounding area, I can help. I invite you to call me at 303-579-8572 to schedule a free, initial 30-minute consultation, either by phone or in-person at my Boulder office. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about depression counseling, teen depression, LENS therapy and my practice.